tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN June 13, 2013 8:00pm-11:01pm EDT
recognized by members of both parties as well as people in the field. we need to continue to take action to secure our border. we need to make sure that our businesses that everybody is playing by the same set of rules because that is good for businesses. it's not fair for businesses who play by one set of rules and those that don't, those that play by the rules get hurt.
it everybody needs to play by the same rules when it comes to hiring. it's important to ensure that immigration reform contains within it a clear path to citizenship, a long path with many many requirements along the way and a clear path for those 11 million living here illegally. this has to be the last one. [laughter] [inaudible] the president has often stressed that a multilateral approach is better than a unilateral approach so what i'm trying to figure out is he felt the time had come to -- for various reasons to arms the syrian rebels is that a decision he will consult with congress and announce it to the american people as a u.s. decision or is that a decision once he had made up his mind about what his country should do he would seek to announce only the
multilateral contacts? >> i think the kinds of aspects of a decision like that or options being considered take into account all those issues and absolutely we believe it is often the case that the implementation of policy in this region and elsewhere can be made more effective and we are working with our allies and partners. we have done that in syria and we have done that elsewhere in the region. we have done that elsewhere around the world and will continue to do that but it's not a one or the other proposition. he looks at all of these options and will do so with regards to this option. >> last question. >> given the various timetables
on the trade talks both in the u.s. and -- do you expect the g8 is going to be where the president these leaders are able to announce long-term negotiations or do you think it will have to wait? >> do you think? i have no predictions to make about what might be announced at the g8 oren drummond but i invite you to try to pry more permission from those who will brief you on the g8 tomorrow. thanks very much. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
members of the house and senate intelligence committees were briefed about the national security agency's surveillance programs earlier. after those meanings they spoke to reporters. we will hear from nsa director general keith alexander and the house intelligence committee chairman and ranking member. this is about 25 minutes.
[inaudible] >> the committee more about these programs, our oversight committees. what we want to do is help them understand a classified environment is what we are doing in these programs, with the impact has been in stopping those dozens of terrorist attacks, what we are doing to review each of those so we can get more information out to the public so that they can understand the value of these programs in saving american lives, that the information out there about us listening to american phonecalls is incorrect. this is a metadata program. these programs are to help us stop terrorist attacks about the
compliance regime that we have and how carefully that is done and overseen by congress, the administration's the courts and how important this is to our nation. and finally we are working with the committees to provide damage assessments. this will be led by the intelligence community about the damage that these leaks have caused not only to our agency but to this nation and the impact of that and then a path forward. we have pledged to be as transparent as possible in this case and we want to do that. we want to provide the american people the information. i think it's important that you have that information but we don't want to risk american lives in doing that. so what we are being is very deliberate in this process so that we don't end up causing a terrorist attack are giving out too much information. so that is the deliberate
process that we have had. i will tell you i've been working with this committee for the past several years. they are very good about asking all the questions and providing tremendous oversight as does the court and the administration. this is not a program where we are out free wheeling it. it is a well overseen and a very focused program. what we owe you the american people is now how good is that with some statistics? i think when the american people hear that they are going to stop and say wait, the informatiinformati on we are getting is incorrect. so i would just tell the american people that let's take a step back, look at what's going on. the oversight and compliance and then let's have this discussion. i have to run to another hearing. thank you very much chairman. >> thinks general. the general is late and needed to scoot off and as a matter of fact we kept them a little longer than he was he was
supposed to so first of all thank you for taking a few minutes. this is a long series of oversight on a very sensitive program. i just want to talk about the damage assessment quick lead which is important. you know the more we know the more dangerous the situation becomes. it exposes our allies we think by the exposure of this program and the changes that we can already see being made by those folks who wish to do us harm and our allies harm number one. number two we are very concerned that it might equally make it more difficult to track the bad guys trying to harm the united states citizens in the united states. a couple of key points i think that we have gone through and the ranking member and i have ratcheted up the timeframe for deep classification of certain events so that the american public can see the full spectrum of successes of these programs
while protecting civil liberties and privacy. you can do both greatly think this program does both and we think it's certainly in the advantage of people who truly want to understand the value of the program to get these cases out. we hope to have that next week is a matter fact. that's going to be incredibly important. and lastly this is very important because there has been so much information about what the program is, the business record program. there are no american names in that lot locks. this is really important. they are only numbers in that lot box, so the business records that are obtained from the company's have no names. they have no subscriber information. this is critically important. the only uses very limited when they actually have a reasonable suspicion which is hard for me to say today, a reasonable suspicion that own number is
tied to an overseas terrorist or terrorist organization. that's it and when they get an answer back from that lockbox it does not have a name attached to it. it's a phone number or a series of phone numbers that than if they believe as a domestic connection, if they believe that it's turned over to the fbi for further investigation. exactly the kind of protections you would want and need especially when you are talking about the boston bombing which by the way they use this program to try to identify the people who might be in the united states tied to a terrorist event in boston and of course the zazi
case is well-documented. so we over the next hopefully the next week or so will be able to get a declassification of information that i think will allow the american public to better understand it. the second part and i will tell you as strongly as i can the national security agency is not reading americans e-mail.
they are not collecting americans e-mails by either of these programs. i've heard it repeated by members of congress and the senate. i have heard it repeated in news outlets. that
is absolutely incorrect. that is very important as we understand the value of these programs and how we protect american's privacy and hopefully as i said next week we will have more opportunity share with you the examples. >> the most important thing is we are going to communicate to the american public as much as we can that will bet it will not hurt us if we do give information that will get to the enemies. where the best country in the world. our forefathers created a system of checks and balances. we have a and we have congress and we have the courts and we also have laws. all that has occurred in this program is pursuant to american law. we follow the law and we make sure we follow the constitution. that is who we are so americans. we have to educate the public and members of congress who need to know more about the program
and i think the more we can get this unclassified that hasn't been classified the more we can get to in the next couple of weeks the more the public will understand what this program is in how it talents is the constitution and we do follow the constitution and it also protects national security. at this point i think we can say that at least this program has thwarted 10 possible terrorist attacks. >> what assurances, specific it assurances have you been given that there is not some employee or contractor today with the nsa programs who has access to some of this data in different from what mr. snowden has done? >> we have a whole counterintelligence operation and intelligence designed to catch something just like this to one of the things we did talk about today was what would smith. did he go beyond what he had access to and clearly he was attempting to go beyond what he
had legitimate access to. all of those are concerned so across the icy lots of people are taking serious review of those types of operations. in the old days the whole trick of espionage was to get the code clerk. the code clerk operating somewhere was not involved in programs and was not doing the espionage itself, wasn't analyzing that information but was a person of value if you could recruit that person. foreign services tried to recruit our code clerk stole the time that this is a new day with new technology so this level of candidly fairly low-level individual but because of his position in the i.t. system had access to certain pieces of information that candidly he did not understand or have the full scope of what these programs were who decided on his own he was going to release this
information. those kinds of people obviously raise concerns and i think there is a thorough scrub today to make sure all the protections are in place and are continuing to happen. [inaudible] >> i'm sorry? >> do have concerns on -- trying to defect to china and sharing information with them? >> has done serious harm and is stating things that are candidly not correct. clearly we are going to make sure there's a thorough scrub of what his china connections are and there is a lot of questions there that need to be answered. >> it just seems unusual that he would be in china and asking protection by the chinese government giving press conferencconferenc s to the chinese media. we will report that hopefully when it comes out. >> colleague said this morning that she was in a briefing and she understands this program is
the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more in that could potentially -- is that accurate? >> i think that's irresponsible because again many people -- we are asking those members to come down with making the committee space available. it's important before you make public statements on what you believe this program as that you understand exactly what it is. candidly of the irs had anywhere near the multi-oversight that this program has i think all of us would probably have a refund checks by now. this is one of the most overseen programs by separate ranches all three of them, the court, the congress, the executive branch in multiple checks and oversights inside of the executive branch itself. it is really scrutinized pretty heavily and used sparingly and every query and by the way it's not a name or in some cases a
direct e-mail. every query punches back out another phone number without an american's name attached to it. that's critically important to understand that. i think americans think there is the sweep of data we have about americans and their conversations. that is not happening in this program. >> is also important to let the public know what the cyberworld is this cyberworld is about. the internet has done a lot of positive things but there is a lot of bull our ability we are seeing now. we are seeing attacks connected to the chinese government. we know critical attacks, the media has alleged attacks in saudi arabia with 30,000 computers from iran tell. we are dealing with sophistication of technology and we need different mechanisms to protect our country from attacks and terrorist attacks so we have a lot to do to educate the public about the threats of cyberand how we as a country
will protect the country from those threats and still follow the law and the constitution of the united states of america. >> is fake government monitoring are collecting that can indication stashed go. [inaudible] >> obviously we are not going to talk about any international program that might be available to our intelligence agencies but it would be i think understandable for the american people to understand the collection of foreign intelligeintellige nce is an important tool to keep america safe and it started with george washington sending nathan hale into new york city to find it with the british were up to and i think there has been a long history of that. i think again it's done prudently and it's done in the interest of protecting the united states of america. >> what is the business records program and what other materials is the nsa using? >> again this notion of -- monitoring wrong word not
happening, strike that from your vocabulary. if you want to accurately describe it, they collect business records which is something called meta-data which is only phone number to phone number. again no names attached. it doesn't say mike rogers or dutch ruppersberger. no addresses. the closest thing you might get is a region of the country based on an area code. that's the closest you would get. so some notion and here's the thing if you are going to connect the dots in anything like the boston bombing to find out if their other co-conspirators if you're going
to connect the dots on the 9/11 style event for hopefully prevent and 9/11 style event you have to have dots in the box in order to connect so all of this is is just that little bit of information that they might need, a phone number to a phone number with no names attached. if it goes beyond that then it has to go to the fbi if it's an
american city for what we would understand is the normal investigative
route that would require a warrant. >> when you talk about information released over the course of next week and we can we expect details on some of the terrorist, potential terrorist plots that were thwarted by the nsa and what details can we expect? >> we have had a long conversation today about promoting the release of the cases that have been disrupted and we believe that is important for the americans to understand. these programs have thwarted terrorists, real terrorist plots not only against americans but in some cases against our allies. this is an important program not just to keep americans safe which certainly is our number one issue but also our allies safe as well and again we argue that this is really important that we get that information.
>> it's because we are dealing with perception and the average american does not understand what we know. we need to understand that and to get out as much public information as we can. it will not hurt our national security and we had that conversation with general alexander. he has to go to different mechanisms to get things classified that we can show they make in public we are not violating any constitutional right to number two we still need to protect projector countries that we don't have another boston problem and so we don't have another 9/11 problem. >> is there an exact number sometime in the future? >> i will tell you they are being very careful and every case is being fêted completely to make sure that somebody doesn't say give the number and then it's 10 less later and not be accurate. don't forget we are also talking about our -- we work with our allies. terrorism is global. we have allies that work with us and we were for them and we help
them thwart attacks like they help us toward attacks. we worked together on intelligence so what we will hopefully talk about is how to thwart attacks not only domestically but through our allies throughout the world against the tears and terrorists and trying to kill us and attack us. >> are you at all worried about the vulnerability of the fisa court in some way in terms of penetration of the individual or the mainframe's? >> again we have contra intelligence folks who look at every of vulnerability we have every single day. obviously it's not perfect by what just happened but again there is no vulnerability and knows stone of vulnerability that won't be turned over in this investigation. >> won the best investigative units in the world as the is the fbi. if there is corruption anywhere or breaking of the law i have confidence in our law enforcement that we will find that out. there's absolute no obligation that there is anything from the courts. see other -- do you think snowden may have --
[inaudible] >> again there is a damage assessment and it's clear that he attempted to go places that he was not authorized to go which should raise questions for everyone. we are going to try to through the work of the nsa and others and external investigators determine exactly what information he may have gotten if any more than he has now. candidly nobody really knows the answer to that today. i think we will know the answer to that shortly. see following up on that what questions do you have left open now that you feel still need to be answered and how much -- getting edward snowden into custody and getting them to the united states? >> is very important. he is now decided he wants to relay information about collection of foreign type collections which goes beyond his original stated intention. there is a long list of
questions we have to get answered about does he have a relationship with a foreign government and is there more to the story? i think they are questions that have not been answered on that. we are also looking at internal controls to make sure that if something was missed here how we make sure something doesn't get messed in the future so we are using this as an opportunity to make sure we are better prepared to stop something like this in the future. even though we have made extracts in this kind of thing but this is incredibly damaging and b there should be no notion in anyone's mind that this person is a traitor to the united states of america and he should be punished by the full extent of law. >> the law. >> let me say something about snowden. some people are saying is a hero. he has broken the law. we have laws in the united states for whistleblowers and people that think there is an injustice being done. all he had to do was raise his hand. if you go to the authorities with the whistleblowers law he is protected. he chose to go to china country that is taking every single day
billions of dollars of american business data and yet there are people out there that are saying that he is a hero. he is not a hero based on the evidence i have and he needs to be held accountable just like everybody in the united states needs to be held accountable for their actions and they will go through the proper process. we hope hong kong and china will work with
us to bring back someone has broken the law and could put us at great list -- risk and our allies at great risk. >> i've got to tell you i hope we don't decide or national security interest is determined by a high school dropout who had a whole series of oath academic troubles and employment troubles. we have better ask a lot harder questions about who he is and what his motives were fully and what access he had to information before we draw the conclusion that this guy was doing something positive. >> how often have you found
american data and what is done with that information? also are these programs used against federal workers to track movements on line and on the phone's? >> i think that question goes well beyond both programs. the 702 program is somebody presents a could be an e-mail address for a foreign person believed to be on a foreign soil. i'm not an american in america and that's critically important. this program has been described as everything but that. this is not targeted at americans. they cannot collect on americans and the other program is a business record by the way through this is not your individual records for your phone. this is your business building wreckers that doesn't even have a name attached to it. so it's a series of literally hundreds of thousands of low numbers and that's it and it's kept in a locked talks with the
only access by the way which is a fraction, a fraction of a fraction of a% the ox is for this. why? because they have to have a counterterrorism nexus. it can only be used in access by a counterterrorism nexus and he plugged the number and then only a phone number comes out or a series of phone numbers and if that raises concern because those numbers are connected to known terrorists overseas than it gets turned over to the fbi. so this is very narrow and by the way of it's very audible program that is reviewed by the court every 10 days and reviewed by congress. very few times you get any program and the executive branch that is both reviewed by the court and the congress and internal reviews. that is what i think is missing in this discussion. [inaudible] >> i think he was lying. >> was a legend in his own mind.
>> clearly has overinflated his position. he has overinflated his access and he is even overinflated what the actual technology of the program would allow one to do. it's impossible for him to do what he is saying he could do. >> is done tremendous damage to the country that he was born raised and educated. access he had was not the full panoply or up programs or processes or reviews. as a system administrator he would see some things because of the nature of the work that were sensitive and classified but he would not be able to do what he said he could do a because the program doesn't allow for that to happen and you have to again ask a lot more questions about his motives, his connections, where he ended up, how is he sustaining himself while he is there and is the chinese government fully cooperating? those are great questions to chase down.
i did not say he was a spy for china. i have got to go. >> we will wait for more information. now we will hear from senate intelligence committee members following their closed-door meeting on the nsa surveillance program. [inaudible] >> i can imagine any united states senator sitting through breathing like we just had a not feeling thankful for the efforts that nsa and others put forth. at the same time there is no question that unep to keep these things in balance this and it has to its job also as it relates to oversight. i can't imagine anybody that
could have left a briefing that i just left and not felt more comfortable and thankful for the efforts that are underway. i have got to go. [inaudible] >> i don't know the legal issues. >> the privacy of americans is protected under these procedures. it is misunderstood that american's private information, telephone calls and e-mails, are being rummaged through by the government. that is not true. only when they are is probable cause given with a court order by a federal judge can they go into the content of phonecalls and e-mails in order to be able
to disrupt a terrorist plot. that poppell book cause has to be proven in a federal court that is set up to handle this secret information. what i have been just amazed to see, the misunderstanding that people have that they think that american's private information is open to the government. only through the checks and balances of the three branches of government weighing in in order that we protect our privacy. >> i have to catch a plane so this will be very brief. we have had a classified hearing of 47 senators were present. we were briefed by seven people,
including the former chief judge of the foreign intelligence surveillance court, director clapper, general alexander, the deputy director of the fbi and of the national security of administration. plus legal counsel and director clapper -- clappers so they were seven members breathing and members were asking questions. that's a statement. >> is a court order necessary to query -- the. >> the meta-data. >> i don't know what you mean by a query. >> to search the database. >> to search the database you have to have reasonable articulable cause, to believe that individual is connected to a terrorist group.
[inaudible] >> could i answer? then you can query the numbers. the only numbers you have, there is no content. you have the main and that number called whether it's one number two numbers. that's all you have. then you can get the numbers. if you want to collect content then you get get a court order. >> sir you don't need a court order for the query itself? >> that's my understanding. general center characterized the attack was prevented and when he says publicly is he talking 24, 50, 100? >> what are you asking again? >> to general alexander characterized the attacks that were prevented and he came out and said there were dozens. is he talking 24, is he talking 50? >> that information, he wants to be exact.
there are more than you think and we should have that shortly. he said monday. >> what are the chances of it being public? >> that is for public release. what he wants to give those are the cases where this has stopped a terrorist attack both here and in other places. and he wants to be exact about the details. so we should have that monday. >> what happens next? >> what will happen next is we will make an assessment based on what has come out. i have tasked director clapper to consider the program, to present some changes if he feels it necessary. we will consider changes. we will certainly have legislation which will limit or
prevent contractors from handling highly classified technical data and we will do some other things. >> do you still feel this is a -- act? >> i said what i have said and you well know. >> thank you senator feinstein. >> thank you senator. >> obviously you all know who we have here today and these gentlemen i thought made a very good presentation and great detail about how the respective sections of the fisa act work. they talked about some practical aspects and gave some examples of how things work and i feel like everybody got their questions answered so with that -- >> did you hear a thing about whether the u.s. is investigating the chinese influence on mr. snowden?
>> no, we didn't discuss that. >> with respect to the nsa the obama administration was to start declassifying parts of, plots that have allegedly been prevented by these programs as early as monday we understood that? >> while we would like to declassify as much information as we can about specific instances but the problem you have is that declassifying almost always leads to acknowledging of sources and methods and if we divulge sources and methods then we give the enemy a lot of our information that we used to watch them. so the white house haven't told us exactly what they are going to do but i can tell you based on what we heard again today they are going going to be very careful in when making a decision on declassifying any information. >> have you seen topics change
because of the information. >> yes as a result of what mr. snowden has already disclosed, the bad guys are now changing their methods of operation. we knew that was bound to happen and as i have said on a couple of occasions his disclosures are ultimately going to lead to us being less safe in america because bad guys will be able to figure out a way around some of the methods that we use and is likely to cost lives down the road. >> was there any concern expressed in there that china is aiding snowden or was -- is there a link between snowden and the chinese government and do you have any universal concerns about that? >> well he is in hong kong and obviously we are concerned about what we have no information that he is connected with the chinese at all. >> in terms of legislation or reining in contractors and their
access to classified information? >> i don't know whether what we need to do needs to be done legislatively or not but i think it's pretty clear that we have to do a better job of making sure that our top-secret clearances go to any individuals that deserve it and we monitor all those people who have a top-secret clearance from time to time and they review their cases to determine whether or not there's any there is any reason to suspect that they may have compromised the u.s. intelligence in some way. so i think they're some changes that we are going to look at but i don't know that it needs to be done legislatively. we will just have to wait and see. >> news is breaking now that u.s. military is proposing a no-fly zone for inside of syria. what is your opinion on that? >> i have said for the last several weeks that continuing to do nothing is not an option. we know now that almost 100,000 or in excess of 100,000 people have been killed inside of syria
and the united states has sat by and watch that happen. we know the president said a red line was the use of chemical weapons. we now know that chemical weapons have been used for almost a year by the syrian regime. we have done nothing. so i think it's time that we act in a very serious way. if a no-fly zone is what they decided to do then i'm sure our military is taking the right preparations for carrying out a successful operation and i will support that. >> when you say we now know chemical weapons have been used to set a some information that you got to be? >> no, not today. we have other information.
>> in the early 1900s cocaine was used by a wide number of americans. it was an coca-cola for example. it was in a number of products. now there was concern when black people started to use cocaine. for example i think "the new york times" ran an article in 1914 about black folks being the new southern menace but cocaine being a new southern menace. and the way that cocaine was talked about or by people being under the influence under the influence of cocaine was talked about is that caused them to be more murderous. it caused them to rape white women. it caused them to be unaffected by bullets. all of this nonsense.
this was going on then and it's going on now although the language has been tempered but drugs are such easy scapegoats. >> a congressional hearing fbi director robert mueller said the fbi is conducting a criminal investigation of edward snowden over the leaks of the security agencies electronic surveillance programs. director mueller testified by
will come to order and the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the commit at anytime. we welcome everyone to today's hearing on the other side of united states bureau of investigations. i will recognize myself and the ranking member for opening statements. this hearing on oversight and the federal bureau of occasional thunder. we welcome director mueller to your final appearance for the house judiciary committee as fbi director and we are happy to have you here with us today. before we begin let me take a moment to commend you for your successful tenure at the fbi biggie took office under extremely difficult circumstances. in fact you are confirmed one week before september 11 attacks on new york city and washington d.c.. during her 12 years as director you have led the transformation of the fbi from a domestic law enforcement agency into a
complex, intelligence-driven national security organization whose primary missions include confronting the most significant security threats facing our nation today. you have done the american people a great service and for that you have my sincere gratitude. we we now know that last week's unauthorized disclosure of certain nsa intelligence programs was committed by a 29-year-old former defense contractor. i know there is little you will be able to say about these programs in a public hearing by the eye and other members of the committee believe that it's important for you to explain to the extent you are able why you believe these programs are necessary part of america's countertecounterte rrorism operation. i also believe the recent reports regarding the nsa programs illustrate this administration's ongoing problem of national security leaks. the obama administration takes credit for having investigated more national security leaks than any previous administration while this may be true i'm not certain whether it is due to a
more aggressive investigative approach to national security leaks or the simple fact that there have been a shockingly high number of leaks in the last four and a half years. these leaks illustrate the delicate balancing act between the need to protect national security information and investigate leaks and the need to preserve the first amendment rights to freedom of the press. regardless of how some members of congress may feel about the recently revealed nsa programs the fact remains that the terrorist threat to the united states is ongoing. we were reminded of this nearly two months ago when the boston marathon traditionally a day of celebration was the target of a terrorist attack. dzhokhar tsarnaev and his brother tamerlan set off twin explosions that killed three people and injured more than 250. this attack was a great reminder as you warned his committee in 2010 a. domestic and lone wolf extremists are now just as serious a threat to our safety
as international organizations like al qaeda. i would like to commend the fbi and state and local partners all of them worked tirelessly to identify and locate the bombers and to apprehend dzhokhar. however prior to the boston attacks several federal agencies including the fbi received intelligence information about tamerlan and were concerned that inadequate interagency coordination may have repented robust information-sharing in this case. it's imperative that the administration and congress examine this matter closely to identify areas in which intelligence information-sharing can be improved. on the subject of counterterrorism i also look forward to hearing from you about the of the ice efforts to investigate the attacks on the american consulate in benghazi libya. immediately following the attacks the obama administration called them a spontaneous response to a video critical of islam. as we all now know the attacks were in fact preplanned acts of
terror. i'm intensely concerned that the administration's handling of the attacks has hampered the of ai's ability to conduct a thorough investigation. a former deputy chief of mission gregory hicks testified as they prevented the fbi evidence response team from traveling to benghazi for two weeks. finally mr. director i'm very interested in hearing from you about how the bureau intends to take -- tightened its belt in a responsible manner during this time of fiscal uncertainty. along with crime subcommittee chairman sensenbrenner i sent you a letter asking questions about the budget and spending parties including the fbi's policy to provide extensive financial benefits including paying for all laundry and food for the highly paid professionals brought to work at fbi headquarters for 18 months dense. i appreciated reason these thieving your response this week
i blew kisses believe this is mary where the fbi and other federal law enforcement agencies are not making the best use of taxpayer dollars and a healthier with the bureau intends to do to address this issue. i look forward to hearing your issues on these important topics as well as other issues of other significance to the fbi in the country and is now my pleasure to recognize for his opening statement the ranking member of the full committee the gentleman from michigan mr. conyers. >> thank you chairman goodlatte and i join in welcoming the director of the federal bureau of investigation. we stand at a legal and political crossroad. we are confronted with a seemingly endless war that increasingly must be fought in
the digital age and i say this not only because of the recent disclosures concerning the fbi and the nasa surveillance programs but because of a range of actions that have occurred since the attacks of september 11, 2001. it is not a partisan concern. and it is one that applies both to the present administration and to the last one as well. nor is it a concern particularly limited to surveillance programs. it extends to our increasing reliance on drones to conduct foreign policy and the government's use of the so-called state secrets doctrine to avoid legal accountability.
and in no small part because of
the actions of nasa and the federal bureau of investigation, it is my fear that we are on the verge of becoming a surveillance state, collecting billions of electronic records on law-abiding americans every single day. a point, the recent disclosure confirmed by the administration that section 215 of the usa patriot act is being used to engage in a nationwide dragnet of telecommunications records. i have along with many of my colleagues both democrats and republicans alike, have long
that section 215 fails to impose a meaningful limit on the government's ability to collect this type of information. if every call is relevant, then the relevant standard we enacted into law has little practical meaning. another point is that total secrecy in which surveillance operates under the patriot act and fisa. with meaningful oversight and prevents the public from holding its government accountable for its action. i can see that it's a difficult and sensitive issue to resolve. but that is our job.
a free society can only be freed if it has the informed consent of its citizens. so that the public knows how its government, the content of its calls even when it collects them by mistake. it is true that some members of the congress have chosen to receive classified briefings about these programs. i am on them. these briefings though often prohibit attendees from taking even notes or to even discuss such information with anyone else. and with all due respect to my friends in the administration, the mere fact that some members may have been briefed in a classified setting does not
indicate our approval or support of these programs. indeed, many of us voted against the reauthorization of the patriot act and the fisa amendments act precisely because of what we learned in those classified sessions. i agree with president obama about the need to find a way to have a responsible conversation about these issues and how we can engage all americans in this debate to the maximum extent possible. but at a time when no major decision of the fisa court has been declassified, and when the administration continues to rely on the state's secret doctrine to avoid accountability in the
courts, i must say that we are not yet able to have a more public and rational, even if limited conversation. the only way to ensure that this critical debate will actually occur is for this committee to achieve an appropriate talents between the need for secrecy and the need for informed debate. one way to tell that balance has been tilted too far in favor of national security is when individuals and public service have legitimate grievances with their government but feel they have no recourse but to leak classified information to the press. i don't condone these leaks. i believe that if we fail to
address the concerns at the heart of these controversial programs that there will be more leaks. and so direct your molar, as one who supported the extension of your term as director and for whose integrity i have always held in highest regard, we and they and are a nation of laws and not men. moreover, with all due respect my considered judgment is that the federal bureau of investigation's actions are inconsistent with the requirements of the patriot act and violate the fundamental privacy of law-abiding citizens.
and so i finish where i started. the congress and in particular this committee stands at a crossroads. every day it seems that a new part of the legal architecture put in place to fight this war on terror is exposed. the prison at guantánamo bay is unsustainable. 166 men held their, 86 are or where they cleared for transfer. more than 100 are engaged in the third month of a hunger strike. nearly 2000 personnel are needed to keep the prison functioning. thanks in no small part to the efforts of the chairman, we have begun to explore the legal underpinnings of the administration's drone programs.
there is a growing bipartisan unease with the notion that the executive branch can kill a united states citizen on its own determination that he poses a quote eminent threat unquote. and with respect to the section 215 collections exposed only last week it seems clear that the governments at tibbitt he exceeds the authority this congress has provided, both in letter and in spirit. with every new disclosure, another piece of the legal architecture put in place after september the 11th crumbles. so it's my hope that over the coming weeks, then members of this judiciary committee can
come together and conducted meaningful oversight of these programs. where needed we should pass relevant and credible legislation just as we did on a unanimous basis after september 11. tomorrow morning my colleague justin olmos and i will introduce a bill that will address the end predator bill of the of the surveillance programs. it is not the only proposal to address these problems. it should not be the only response to the broader questions we face. but it is a modest start and i hope that my colleagues will join me. this is a time for members of those sides of the aisle to come together and help restore our nation to its proper role as a
beacon for civil liberties around the world. i think the chairman for indulging me additional time to make a statement. >> that chair thanks the gentleman and without objection other members opening statements will be made a part of the record. we again thank director mueller for joining us today and director if you would please rise i will begin by swearing you in. do you swear that the testimony you're about to give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? let the record reflect that director mueller responded in the affirmative and i will now introduce him. our only witness today is the federal bureau of investigation director robert s. mueller the third let the fbi since september 4, 2001. he was first made by the president george w. bush.
as an assistant to attorney general thornburgh in the head of the criminal division in 1998, direct or molar loosening united states attorney in san francisco, a position he held in 2001. is your tenure is set to expire, for one last look and look forward to your statement. please proceed. turn on that microphone. >> good morning, chairman goodlatte, ranking member conyers amounts of the subcommittee. i thank you for the opportunity to hear an on their behalf when they began by thanking your support of the bureau over the 11 years i've been here. we look at a time of diverse and persistent threats from terrorists, spies and criminals. at the same time we faced criminal threats from white-collar crime. justice or national security and
criminal threats constantly evolved, so too must the fbi counter these threats even during a time of constrained budgets. to get back to highly several fbi of the high-spirited national security criminal threat. as illustrated by the recent attacks, terrorist attack against the united states or a top priority. as exhibited by many arrests over the past year, we face a continuing threat for home grown violent extremists. these individuals present unique challenges because they do not share typical profile. their experience experience is about as interesting, which makes them difficult to identify and difficult to stop. at the same time, for a terrorist strike us at home and abroad. terrorists operate in more places and against a wider array of targets that they did a decade ago. we seen an increase in
cooperation among terrorist groups than evolution intact eggs and communications. al qaeda is weaker and more decentralized than 11 years ago but remains committed to attacks against the last. al qaeda affiliates and surrogate take al qaeda in the arabian insula is a persistent threat and in light of recent attacks in north africa, we must focus on emerging extremists groups capable of carrying out attacks were not returned. next, let me turn to discuss the cyberthreat, which is above the wickedly over the past decade and cuts across all fbi programs. cybercriminals have become increasingly adept at explaining weaknesses in computer networks. they can export trade state secrets and trade secrets that we also face persistent threat, organized criminal cybersyndicate and activist
groups. as i said in the past, i believe the cyberthreat they will eclipse the terrorist threat in years to come and in response we are strengthening our cybercapabilities of the same way we enhanced our intelligence and national security capabilities in the wake of the september 11 attacks. our cyberdivision is focused on attrition to network attacks and the fbi special agents work side-by-side federal state and local counterparts on cybertask force is in the 56 field offices. we've increased the size of national cyberinvestigative for his which brings together an 18 month% military and intelligence agencies to stop current attacks and prevent future attacks. cybercrime requires a global purge through the fbi 64 attacée offices sharing information in court aid in investigations of their international counterparts. at the same time i recognize the
private sector is the essential partner to protect our critical infrastructure and to share threat information. with established several noteworthy outreach programs to shift to true collaboration and build structured partnerships within the government and her. turning to the criminal programs come responsibilities range from complex white collar fraud, turn national enterprises from violent crime to public corruption. given limited resources we must focus on areas where we bring something unique to the table. for example, violent crime and gang activity continue to exact a high toll in our communities and safe streets and trails task force has identified target the most dangerous of criminal enterprises. the fbi just made vigilant in efforts to find and stop child
predators. our mission is threefold, first to decrease over ability of children to exploitation and provide a rapid and effective response to crimes against children in or to enhance capabilities of state and local law enforcement with task force operation such as the msn lost initiatives. melanie turgeon spent a moment discussing the public disclosure of highly classified national security programs. highest priority of the intelligence community is to understand and combat threats to our national security, but we do so in full compliance with the law. we recognize the american public expects the fbi and our intelligence partners to protect privacy interests even as we must conduct our national security mission. the fisa court has approved both programs and these have been
connect it consistent with the constitution and the laws of the united states. the programs have been carried out extensive oversight from coors, independent inspector general and congress. these programs remain classifies as a significant limit on what we can discuss this morning and hope session. i do understand there have been classified briefings on these programs for this committee and for the house that large and i hope you've been able to attend and if not we'll be able to attend such a briefing from the intelligence community regarding the focus and legality of these programs. as the individual to do to make, he is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. these closures have caused significant harm to our nation and safety and were taking all necessary steps to hold the person responsible for these
disclosures. as this matter is actively under investigation we cannot comment publicly on the details of the investigation. in closing i'd like to turn to sequestration. the impact of sequestration on the fbi's ability to protect the nation from terrorism and crime will be set if you can't. in 2013 the fbi budget was cut by more than $550 million due to sequestration and in 2014 proposed cuts total more fiscalr with 1300 additional vacancies in 2014. i have long said that operational cuts will impact the fbi's ability to provide crying and terrorism which will impact the safety of security of our
nation. we do understand the need for budget reductions but would like to work with the committee to mitigate the most significant impacts of those cut. chairman cut back ranking member conyers, members of the committee about to thank you for your support of the fbi and mission. our transformation over the past decade would not of been possible without cooperation and i look forward to any questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you, director mueller. i want to remind members of the committee that all of those certain programs are positive the last week it exercise cautiw they phrase their questions and to regard for their clarification and appreciate the directors -- and a public
setting to the extent you can, please explain why you think these programs ar terrorism. do share concerns that members of congress including myself an american you send the civil liberties need to be protected in the operation of these programs. >> or me start by saying that the challenge and there's not a day that goes by that we don't look at some issue that raises that balance. one of the things we do insist upon and assure has been in ever we undertake addressing national security is legal. in this particular case, the
problems and programs to which you refer, the legality has been assured by the department of justice. the fisa court has ruled on these two programs and again assured the legality of the efforts undertaken in these two programs. lastly, i will say in response to book ranking member conyers said in terms of the debate, congress has been briefed as been pointed out and was briefed prior to the 2009 rehab in a matter by the frustration to make certain congress to understand at first undertaken under section 215 and if there were a change to be made by congress, if the line is drawn differently, the administration
make certain congress to understand the efforts being undertaken under section 215 and if you change were to be made by congress at the line is drawn differently, so be it. we recall that the letter of the law. and passed by congress -- into attorney general thornburgh as assistant attorney general of the criminal division and fbi director authorize a search warrant for a target criminal investigation was an prosecution of that target the objective? >> i would say no, that quite often in search warrant, there
are affidavits in support of search warrants or occasions where a person will be mentioned as having culpability, that there would need no discussion or anticipation of prosecution. that can be for a variety of reasons. >> to that point, in the case in particular with regard to mr. rose and perhaps other cases, we did not intend to prosecute, did you characterize the individual is a flight risk as was done in a matter involving mr. rosen, and digitally noticed that the search warrant for months as was done in the case that turned me three years because the judge that the date to release the information until 18 months after his order had required that it be done, but the justice department requested 18 months in the first place. why would that be necessary if there were no intention of
prosecuting? >> are not familiar with the flicks and in particular of all the facts raised in the affidavit or the discussion is outlawed would proceed to get the data. there is great scrutiny given at the local level and sure to what needed to go into the search warrant and its affidavit in particular with reference to the judicial requirements and secondly that there is a protocol, long-standing protocol that was adhered to in getting approval for that particular action. i know what you know the department of justice is now looking at this set of circumstances. >> one more question in. >> i want to say us to the extent the tweaks need to be done, we are happy to abide by those tweaks. >> following the subfloor,
sometimes a complaint against him and his appearance. the timing is set forth by the constitution and the rules of criminal procedure. do you believe these criminal rules are well suited to intelligence gathering from a domestic terrorism suspect should the congress consider an ebay's rules when face of domestic terrorism situation whereas in this case the question in that this individual by the fbi, prior to it being given his miranda warning short-circuited the opportunity to question him about imminent dangers like other potential sites, other suspected co-conspirators and other bombs that may have been in existence at the time and therefore are very but the perspective defendant be questioned. any investigator which i'll use blogger you have for more information you can. in the cnh if you have access to
the information on computers or thumbtacks or what have you come ill have a much better opportunity to get appropriate questioning accomplished. on the other hand the dictates of the constitution and the applicable statutes. in a very narrow sliver of cases where it is terrorism or the other substantial, i would say one could look at opportunities for giving those questioners additional time to extract information that may protect the public. >> thank you. the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers for five minutes. >> thank you. we appreciate your presence here today. in the past week, many in the industry shouldn't have them played that because they have briefed the congress and this
committee that we are all complicit in the use of the surveillance tactics. can you acknowledge here this morning to hear a briefing, me and my staff does not constitute our ascent or agreement to these programs? >> debriefings that have been and continue to be provided to congress is to inform congress about these programs are being applied, to what end they are being is and in order to establish a dialogue to what changes need to be done to these programs, but also furtherance of the congress as well as the oversight body. consequently, i don't think we look at the briefings as a form of agreement in any way, shape or form, but look at the briefings as their obligation to
inform congress as to what is happening so congress wishes to take steps to change it, the particular statute inapplicability congress takes the steps to do that. >> the public's understanding of this program is that the government collects these records. let's take the verizon system. and they collect the records of every person in the united states and retains them for some period of time and then queries a massive database when it has a specific concern about one of us, any one of us. is that understanding accurate? >> with an arad perimeters, yes.
let me make two points if i could. the particular database of audit data has no content whatsoever. we have no authority to get content that the statute we believe in the fisa court has allowed is the accumulation of metadata that is the fact of a telephone call. the number is called and the time and length of those calls and there are cases where that has been instrumental in identifying individuals who sought to harm our country. >> yes, i note that the content is kept, but to have that information of who called whom via the length of time probably where the parties were commented
to the need -- does that serve any real purpose? this puts everybody in the united states of america sub jacked to this kind of a content. we have a feeling, at least some of us that it's not necessary, nor does it serve a legitimate, legal surveys? >> i want to go back to what occurred in 9/11 and the chest and airing on this. the co-lead out that are looking to be one of the principal hijackers was being tracked that intelligence agencies in the far east and lost track of him and
at the same time the intelligence agencies have identified an al qaeda safe house in yemen. they understood that county safe house had a telephone number that they could not know who was calling into that particular safe house. we came to find out afterwards that the person who called into that safe house was on at heart who is united states in san diego. if we had this program in place at the time, we would've been able to identify that particular telephone number. >> i'm almost out of time. >> i ask indulgence to finish because of the criminal point to where we have this program and how important it is. if we had a telephone number, they would ratchet up with further legal process identified one last point, the 9/11 commission itself indicated that investigation or interrogation
since he was identified could have evidence of connections to other participating in 9/11 plot had the simple fact could derail the plan in any case the opportunity was not there. if we had this program, the opportunity would have been there. >> mr. chairman, let me just finish. i am not persuaded that that
makes it okay to collect every call. look, the verizon system -- how can the government collect information on all of the verizon system if the statute limits the government to those records that are relevant to. if they are relevant, relevant under your interpretation means that anything and everything goes and that's what she did in
from then senator barack obama. first is president bush has put forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and security we provide. i will provide our telogen and lovers and agencies of the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our constitution and freedom. the second quote, which comes from the same speech in washington of august 1st, 2007, the bush administration acts like fighting liberties is the way to enhance our security. it is not. there are no shortcuts to protect america. director mueller, you've served under president bush and through the transition to president obama. what new privacy did the fbi implement under president obama and were those in place when the fbi applied for the fisa application that was leaked to the guardian?
>> we eventually privacy officer. i do not know specifically, but programs such as those for the privacy shops. >> with all due respect, there is new privacy connections implemented by the new president barack obama after january 20, 2 dozen nine when he took office. >> are you rescued were there? >> i'm not certain of the timing of additional privacy protection. i'm very interested in your comment about the all mattia case, which was someone who got on the radar screen before 9/11. section 215 of the patriot act
if you haven't handed drafting requires the business records puts fisa orders be directed solely at foreigners who are the target of an authorized terrorism investigation and not on the united states citizens unless they are contact two-door balk at foreigners. i don't think section 215 would have put a crimp on identifying as i was in place before her september 11. my question is with respect to the fisa order that was leaked to the guardian is that the narrowness that section 215 is as i described it. how can section 215 b. utilize to scoop up the phone records of
american citizens who are not in communication with the foreigner is an object of an authorized terrorist investigation. >> to a certain extent i have to differ to the fisa court. there is the body of telephone data has been that information that may be relevant in the past and thereby satisfies the requirement according to the court. >> the question of relevance is the same type of question that could be issued either with the grand jury subpoena or a national security letter without involving the patriot act. i hear you about the patriot act some been done in secret and some in a process protections because the recipient of the
fisa war can't tell what rejection he's turned over. the national security letters or grand jury subpoenas. i guess what my concern is there really isn't any way for anybody whose records are turned over to approach the fisa court or any other court because they don't know about it to try to get the order costs and the fbi agent signed the affidavit to get that order. my time is. >> if i may just follow up with one observation and that is these particular records are not covered by the fourth amendment. secondly the determination as to the legality and that standard has been addressed in the affirmative to support this particular program.
>> the chair recognizes mr. nadler for five minutes. >> let me suggest that 1979 decision of the supreme court that a phone bill is not protected by the fourth amendment might not apply to a lot of this stuff today given how pervasive and privacy invading the metadata has become compared to what could be done in 1979. i don't know that i totally ran the president for everything being done. let me ask you the following. under section 215 and a place associate myself at the remarks that a dragnet sabrina a subpoena for every e-mail record could again tomorrow and they did do it certainly makes a mockery of the relevance in
section 215. if everything in the world is relevant, some of us offered amendment several years ago and in retrospect we should have adopted this amendment. that's no excuse for a misinterpretation of relevance to the point there is no such meaning to the word. secondly, under section 215, if you've gotten information from metadata and as a result of that think this phone number look suspicious and we got to get the contents of that file. do you need new specific warrant? >> all you have is a telephone number. you do not have subscriber information. you have to get a national security ticket subscriber. and if you want to do more, you
have to get a particular race order directed at that particular phone for that individual. >> is the answer classified? dnc just in a classified in? >> i don't think so. >> and i can say the following. they are precisely the opposite at the briefing the other day. we heard her safely you could get specific information from that telephone simply based on an analyst deciding that you did need a new one. what you just said is incorrect. >> answer to the same question. >> i asked the question both times as a single question. so maybe you better go back and check because someone is incorrect. >> i will do that. >> i don't question your
understanding. i was rather startled the other day and i wanted to take the opportunity -- >> happily clarify it. >> thank you. second, we have heard of the terrible, horrible for snowden. i don't understand how national security was breached. we knew publicly from 2006 from the report in "usa today" about the exist dean database and metadata reported it back then. we debated on the floor of the house but the reauthorization in 2012 and 2008 several times.
so that was done publicly. the only thing not know as far as i can tell was revealed was the quarter, which tell us nothing other than what was already public for whatever length of time it was. even the stuff about session 702 was debated at length a couple years ago. the only thing not known as the technical capabilities, but my assumption, tell me why it is not correct if any terrorist with half a brain in his head would assume that electronic communication several verbal and may be subject to interception and how does what's his name added to that assumption or change that assumption quick >> any terrorists who has a
brain would figure it out. there's terrorists and terrorist. i cannot go into the more details as to specific harm to national security. every time we have a leak like this is the follow up, there are persons who follow this very, very closely and are looking for ways around it. one of the great of her abilities terrorists is communication and they are consistently looking for ways to have secure communications. any tidbit of information in terms of capabilities and programs are immediately finding ways around it. if we lose because we've got chat, voip, lose our ability with their communication to be exceptionally vulnerable. i ask you to get a classified briefing us to the more
specifics. nobody be misled in this. this hurts national security. the issue is how you balance that against privacy. you may come out differently than others. all i can say is there is a cost to be paid. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. coble for five minutes. >> i thank the chairman and thank you for your years of service. i want to revisit, mr. director, the former secretary of state hillary clinton appeared before a city hearing issue is that about cert fax has surrounded the libya tragedy and she responded, what interest does the way? it may make a great deal of difference. having said that, with all our
familiar with reporters that the evidence response to the ert waited in tripoli for more than two weeks for access to benghazi. some have said this was due to bureaucratic entitlement. do you agree with? >> i do not. we monitor the situation very closely after that occurrence. we had persons ready to go. quite obviously what the state department requested the opportunity to go. a number of that are snippets as unique a situation overseas as we have seen. we got our people in this case or a combination of factors with the delay. it may cause they, there is not law-enforcement. it's not that is not now. nobody you can deal with them terms of assuring your security.
go ahead. >> secondly, the libyan government is dependent upon getting he says from the libyan government and the libyan government then and today it is still unstable and very difficult to get any decision made from a person who is in a decision-maker in that arena. i would say the bottom line is to ensure the security of our people and our persons, we did go in and do our on-site review. >> did you speak to anyone looking government about the delay? >> we were talking through our ambassador at the time pushing hard. i know the state department was pushing hard, we were pushing hard, but the two concerns, the safety of electives that the government to move quickly inhibited our ability to do what we wanted to do. >> is a former prosecutor, you are familiar with the import of
preserving to assure you can collect the maximum amount of evidence. having said that, once the evidence arrived in benghazi, how quickly were they able to secure that scene and begin collect evidence? >> the team went in with the military component with support from air assets and others every day but any 24 hour period. >> would it be fair to say that the two-week delay at the fbi's ability to secure the scene of the attacks led to the corruption of the scene? >> i'm not certain i was a corruption of the scene. i was so you always want to get to the scene after the occurrence. cert like the scene have been entered by a number of people and it is not as pristine as we would like. absolutely. >> would also be fair to say the
scene led to less evidence collection since he could not establish the chain of custody, to say the same avidin when he bought began with two weeks prior? >> i would say yes, the delay adversely impacted the ability to gather evidence in a variety of ways and adversely impacted investigation. >> has this but a damper on our ability to pursue leads? >> has this put a damper on our ability to pursue leads? >> you don't know what you don't know what you may have missed. i can tell you the investigation is ongoing. we've had some success that i can't get into today, but it is a difficult operating environment, not just the scene to sell, but obtaining cooperation of witnesses and others who have information --
>> my time is about now. this benghazi tragedy still hangs in my craw. i'm not directing this at you, but we still don't know all the facts. i don't suggest is a cover-up, but it has to track use cover up. my late granddaddy used to say it makes the copper taste that in the morning, but we'll see what happens. thank you for being with us. >> chair thanks the gentleman and recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for distinguished service. as you know, people acquiring firearms can with the gun show loophole and other exceptions easley of a firearm without a criminal background check. what difference would be universal or virtually universal that checkmate? >> on the asset it means fewer
persons who have the characteristics and possession of guns. >> on the issue of the telephone records, you've indicated how the acquisition of all telephone records helps to protect us from terrorism. is it true that this data can be used for things other than terrorism? >> no. >> you can't use of a criminal investigation? >> no. >> u.k. is with the purpose of the section 10 for a wiretap the purpose and there may be some other purpose? >> and it's a question commissary. >> under section one of four county have to show a significant purpose of the surveillance to obtain foreign intelligence information with the change in the law for the purpose.
if it's a significant purpose that would leave open the idea that there is another purpose for getting the information. when i asked attorney general gonzales at what other purpose you could be using these warrants for, he blurted out criminal investigation without the normal probable cause and everything else. is the acquisition of this information, this make a data solely for protection terrorism or can it be used for something else? >> terrorists. >> if you tripped over some other thing, can use in the criminal prosecution? >> no. not that i'm aware of. there may be a way if there was an egregious crime -- the court up to authorize. >> the exclusionary worldperks because you don't illegally obtained evidence. because if you've got it you
can't get this information and you can use and the other guy can't. we've got the fisa warrant and track down because you've got one of the guys of the foreign government to trip over a crime. anything other than terrorism. >> if you're talking about 215, reasonable articulate suspicion of a telephone her of the foreign power is
very simple. >> significant purpose, not of primary purpose. we changed it from primary purpose to significant purpose that just opened up the idea, that opens up the idea that you
could have some alter your motives. >> on that particular language change, allow me to get back to you. >> and
so this information can only be used for terrorism. in the iris situation, there's some question to other progressive groups are also targeted for scrutiny under section 501 c. for abuse -- 501(c)(4)s abuse, but only groups targeted were targeted because of political views, would that violate criminal law? >> that's speculative. excuse me one second if i could. >> i want to check my answers on
your previous questions. >> on the boston bombing, obviously there is information out there that could be used. do your limited resources resources limit your ability to track down the league you are given to protect us against terrorism? >> wicket dozens upon dozens each year. it is up in that rain of the number of a thousand a year. in this particular case, i do believe when we got the lead on tsarnaev that the agent didn't invest excellent job of utilizing tools available to him in that kind of investigation as i think you're aware that he took the records jackson and out to dinner the person at the
college where tamerlan was for time. ultimately interviewed tamerlan himself, sent the information to russia cannot see pretty quiches asked for additional information that might give us indications are evidence that he was the terrorists. i think we did a thorough job. at that point in time i did know there is much else that could be done within the statues of the macabre dictation to further investigate. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as mr. sensenbrenner did come i want to thank you for your service over the years to our country. i want to disclose i have been to present cincinnati, ohio where allocation of a rogue
employees were allegedly at it on their own were originated. when they began with this. the irs is privy to some of our citizens must have that information and is passed with applied the law in a fair and impartial way. he would agree with? >> yes. >> however the members of the tea party group received a letter asking for an invasive i believe providing all of their facebook and twitter information, for example, any advertising they specifically mention a gentleman by the name of justin vinik thomas, who's an ordinary citizen who did have any connection with that particular organization they received this inquiry for the irs and he also got no notification and not matter at
all. i also got questions about providing a list of all the issues that were important to that organization and they wanted to know what their position was regarding each issue. i'm very concerned about the irs admitting, targeting conservative groups in this overly invasive line of questioning and requests for information that's more like harassment rather than appropriate inquiry under 501(c)(4)s status inquiries. the attorney general announced on may 14 that he ordered an investigation by the fbi. has the fbi begun that investigation now? >> yes. >> i assume you can't go into details because it's an ongoing investigation. and i correct on that? >> yes. >> the irs commissioner stephen
heller blamed his actions on to rogue employees way out there at the cincinnati office. have we possibly do anything in wash and basically any acted like nobody here in the city do anything about it was connect it in any way with it. that's become pretty clear at this point that the irs and washing 10 was involved in this and i would like to read a couple of things here relative to elizabeth huffaker, one of the snotty employees and the things she is indicated on the record. she said the tea party cases, pastry cases, those types of organizations questioned by the irs are basically in a holding pattern of their applications. she indicated that they were basically in a black hole. she had been working for 11
years at the irs and she said the way the iris handle the tea party cases with an precedent in, which is pretty significant. she said it was micromanaged to death by an irs lawyer who worked in washington. again, no washington connection of course, but that is where this irs lawyer was here in washington d.c. back in july 2010, the iris developed a bowler list. do note that is? >> no, sir. >> bolo stanford be on the lookout. >> i knew someone would be a lot forced the context. >> it was used in that context to send applications from organizations involved with the tea party movement. she told investigators she understood the purpose was to
target conservative and republican groups. other political groups did not get handled the same way according to her. "usa today" review of tax exemption at the time showed dozens of local groups that exemption salty party groups were on hold and subsequently another bowl of criteria including groups whose issues that the government spent name, government debt and taxes and if you're critical of the country with the direction it's going to do with speed runs. a lot of these things that went on for 27 months. will these matters be investigated by the fbi no matter how high up they go? >> i can't specifically assert to the extent that there's any indication of criminal misconduct we will follow the leads and evidence for it takes us. >> thank you.
>> the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in thank you, direct her bowler for your service over the years. i think you've raised the standard very high and i appreciate that. i want to follow-up on a response you make to a question that mr. conyers. you used the phrase that you've talked to the american people were concerned to one and the programs, these two programs are being used. and i think that is absolutely the case. i think that was the case when we were debating the patriot act and the reauthorization of it and the concern that concerns
that a number of us were racing at that time was to what end with these programs be used? congressman scott has questioned you about some of those and. what i want to do is spray the space on the fourth dimension in your opening statement. he talked about terrorists on. you talk about national security. you talk about cybersecurity and criminal activity in your description of cybersecurity and he said that required public private interaction and all of these things have become more global i.t. cave. all four of those categories have become more global. so the question i raise the necessary distinction between
terrorists on, the purposes for which information can be used in these programs for terrorism purposes by the statues were put in place. is there a distinction between terrorism and national security? >> i think terrorism as defined as a threat to national security in another south. >> does national security include curtis national security includes things that fight terrorism? some things outside the category of terrorism. >> terrorism is a separate category and you have cyberterrorists, individuals of the concerns we have quite obviously the future. >> trade is a matter of national security i take it.
>> i can tell you one of the hypotheticals is a terrorist attack on wall street. that is straight to the extent -- >> that his trade. >> absolutely that's a matter of national security. >> i think you are right that the public concern here is what is the overlap between these four categories and to what extent can this information that is being gathered be used for means better in a a gray area here. i was uncomfortable that we got so preoccupied with terrorism that we compromised our personal liberties, but assume that we got comfortable with that after
9/11. but if he found some pain and misinformation that gathered under these two programs that related more to criminal activity, serious criminal activity. the question is can not be used, anything you find in these phone dragnet can it be used in a criminal investigation if you decide that it's not terrorist related necessarily, that could be national security related for cybersecurity related. but is the dividing line between the use of these days other than an individual agent discretion
or whatever an individual agent represent in an affidavit to the quarter? >> when they start by the use of the word dragnet. >> i'm sorry. i didn't intend to use it either. i really apologize. this data-gathering. >> the statute is fairly specific that is attributable to terrorism and that traditional would understand terrorism, al qaeda and other terrorist groups that are specifically mention. as i tried to point out before, the program is set up for a limited purpose in a limited object is then that is to identify individuals in the united states using a telephone for terrorist activities to draw that network.
>> is cyberterrorism? >> it can be, but not as distinguished. i don't believe it would be covered in the statute. i tried to leave out the possibility that if there were a piece of evidence applicable to a homicide or substantial, the only way for that piece to be utilized would be to go back to the court get the approval to utilize information in a way that was not covered in the original border. >> time of the has expired. the gentleman from alabama, mr. backus for five minutes. >> direct tubular, i want to commend you and your service to our country. let me ask you, i've been reading about the james rosen case. the report sonnet and i find a great deal of confusion over
what the justice department and the fbi have done and what they have in done. you're familiar with the search warrant and affidavit? >> in that particular case? no, not that familiar with it. >> at the time the search warrant was issued, stephen kent had already been identified as the leaker of the information. you're aware of that? >> i'm not aware of the timing. i know this is three years ago. >> in 2010, he had already been identified out just tell you if you read the affidavit, clearly he been identified. i know that attorney general holder said he did however prosecution of the press, but if
you read the search warrant, i know that it talks about mr. rosen has been in theater or better or co-conspirator. but if you read the affidavit, he clearly was encouraging stephen kim to leak classified information. there's quite a bit of that. in fact, there was telling him to conceal his identity. now, also according to this affidavit and i take this has been true. i know nothing of this affidavit has been disproved. this disclosure threaten our national security clearly and probably could have cost the life of our intelligence source in north korea.
>> in a newsroom or any web product. but it says that there is no protection if there is probable cause to believe the person has committed or is committing a crime in which the materials relate to. including the classified material. this contains important numbers that we need to discuss. including how this is in relation to google. so they should take reasonable steps to obtain the information through alternative serve content sources than the
reporter. well, i would think that google would be an alternative source. there is a clear assumption in which we work. i would ask you to read that affidavit. my point simply from reading the affidavit is that i would think it is clearly within the right of the government to prosecute this report. >> i can tell you two things. i did briefly review the affidavit when the issue arose. i am somewhat familiar. the focus of our investigations are on the person within the government. that is the focus on
investigations. thirdly, i would say that given the issues and that is appropriate to go back and look at the statute that was applied to the search warrant and the protocols that have been established in our exercise and our in our investigative ability when it comes to this tension on the one hand and the leaks on the other hand. >> i understand. there was no prosecution. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. >> thank you, but content mr. chairman. thank you director. i remember seeing you right after 9/11. you have been on the job is to as the handful of days and you have certainly served our country well and honorably.
i thank you for that. i do have, following the questions of congressman baca, i have concerns about imposter relatives to this. i wanted to talk about the issue of the phone numbers for the associated press or associated press reporters the department of justice recently let the ap no that it has subpoenaed the record for up to 20 phone numbers as part of this week investigation. the ap has said that approximately 100 of its reporters use these phones on a regular basis one of the phones was the aps primary number in the house of representatives press gallery. used by many reporters and not just the ap. this raises concerns.
not only about the first amendment, but also about separation of powers. certainly it is likely that many of the calls made by these phones for with congressional staff and members of congress. likely irrelevant to this case, but certainly raising issues of speech and debate. and the department of justice, i wonder if the attorney general has to personally sign off on subpoenas for reporters. in this case since the deputy attorney general apparently signed off on us. seeing if the fbi needs to sign off on the repeated request like this before it goes over. is that you? >> no. it is at the level specifically to you. depending on the context, it would be the assistant director in charge of a particular
division. the individual that handles the leak investigations. >> in a case like this, where weatherby consideration of first amendment rights and what they're also be an analysis of the speech and debate talks? >> it would be raised on this. any leak investigation, you know that you are an environment where there are competing tensions. anytime you come across anything that implicates the legislature or congress in some way, that is something that requires additional scrutiny as to how the investigation goes. and anyone to be with the attorney handling the case. >> we would assume in this case the department of justice and the fbi decided it was okay if
members of congress were the subject of your inquiry because of the location of this phone call? >> the fact that there is this one telephone number that would be sufficient to raise the flag that we have to get this across this line. it is not that at all because it is a request for toll records. >> okay. in terms of investigating the information, certainly that is a worrisome issue. but why did he think it was necessary to keep records for so many telephones used by so many reporters in the ap case? obviously many of the records under the subpoena would and have relevance to the investigation. is the fbi have a process for
minimizing the collection with this subpoena, or does all of that include the fbi database regardless of the relevance? >> you know, let me just say that we are adapting special procedures in order to ensure that the records are protected. in terms of the department of justice and the investigative investigation still, i will tell you that i do believe that there was a substantial effort made to minimize the request. >> let me just say that in order to get a subpoena for these records of a reporter, david have to be implicated in this investigation.
is it a practice to consider reporters and editors and publishers who print stories as criminals. and how many times has the fbi talked about the communications with search warrants, claiming that they are criminals? >> our focus is on identifying the secrets and to whom the person is given a secret. part of that goes to show the contacts between the person that was leaking materials and the person publishing materials. if we go to court on this, we have to show that this particular set of materials went to a particular person for publications. the last part i cannot recall.
>> the gentleman from california , mr. dare i say it's recognized two let me say that i think what happened with the ap is outrageous. it is a totally different dynamic. >> director, you use the term from the gentle lady of and he said it is fair to characterize what you're saying is that we are in the process of protecting not which is not previously protected. in other words, i am assuming that before this became very public, protections were not in effect. >> some investigations are protected more than others. >> i just want to hold you to be
explicit. you said this in the present tense. is it fair for me to assume that there are additional efforts now underway that will be implemented? >> yes reed thank you. >> was james rosen a subject of investigation as to criminal activity. >> that is my knowledge. >> is he now a suspect in a criminal investigation? >> not my knowledge. >> thank you. >> so a warrant naming him would be false? >> any kind of documentation that alleged that he was involved in that would be a false statement? >> i think i know where you're going. >> do you get me there? >> we are not all the way there. the questions that you ask, when
you say that the conduct described this in a particular entity in which could or could not be -- >> it is fair to say that he wasn't a suspect in some documents will speak for themselves? >> yes. >> are you using all necessary and available resources to try to apprehend those people responsible for the murders and ungodly? >> just two to your knowledge of the overseas assets being used to try to find those responsible and bring them to justice, can you explain to us how it could be that we have videos of them. we have knowledge of many of the people are in some cases by name. yet we have not found one of them in some other country. is that unusual to have this as
we know it today? >> yes, it is unusual. as i articulated before. this is a unique situation. we have had our colleagues in law enforcement to help us. we don't have college we can go to. so it is very unique. >> that you have had access to the site and people there and getting information about this on our behalf? >> that is a very hostile territory. nonetheless, we have video that i can turn that we have been working with it. quite obviously individuals who may have participated whether it be video or otherwise. >> okay, just two more quick
questions. in your lifetime of law enforcement, is it a practice that you believe is appropriate when you have information and the transcripts of other collective data to selectively make some of this available in order to facilitate both public and witness cooperation. in other words, do you put out certain information and conversely, do you retain certain information, in other words, you don't put out an entire transcript of deposition, you don't put out all the records that you have, but you do put some of it out as a matter of course in the investigations in order to get people, for example you cannot picture of somebody in the case of benghazi. you are retaining some information that only you know. >> we are making use of this on facebook and the like. and of course, on investigation and ungodly.
>> we want people to come forward. we did the same thing in boston. the way that we were able to identify this was to focus in and identify them and publicize this later. >> to the people who are knowledgeable, wouldn't they be eligible for presidential order drone strike no matter what country they're in? >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> we are not sure how this will play out with the drum strikes. >> again, i'm not that familiar and i would have to differ from answering a question. >> okay.
>> director, i want to thank you for your long years of service. you are always welcome. >> thank you. >> thank you. the gentleman from texas. >> let me start by saying that we have interacted with each other for the past 11 years and i want to thank you for your service. you are particularly one that i admire, having graduated from the school of law. you are obviously a very wise man area let me thank you. we will show no bias this morning. one of the points that has not penetrated into this community is the enormous hit that the fbi will take on sequestration. you are making $550 million, the
other was 2013. the user 1400. that is going to be somewhat devastating. >> yes. >> the fbi has had a vigorous influence and yesterday on the 50th anniversary, would that impact a variety of responsibilities that we had including civil rights enforcement? >> i cannot go that far. let me tell you that when we get faced with the cuts, we would not cut counterterrorism or counterintelligence. the two criminal programs are public corruption and civil rights. >> so you were trying to do it, but you'd be tied in other
areas? >> yes, and as we went down, we would be cutting the support you've given us investigation. >> that is very important. let me just ask you about the legislation. you are a lawyer and a strong advocate of the bill of rights. with the universal background check, with that infringe on the second amendment? >> i am not a constitutional lawyer. i understand. >> were good laws help make this possible? >> we can always do more. >> thank you. >> in regards to the question on e-mails, do think that we could have a significant interpretation of section 501. something that could be classified with national security intelligence sources
including sensitive information. meaning that it keeps in mind the restraints of national security and it classifies the intelligence sources. >> i would have to defer to the department of justice on. that relates to the protocols that are set up not just by the department of justice. >> cities and disclosing them as an investigator, that it would not be opening them up? >> i would think that no, it is matters that should remain classified. >> but if they would keep that classified, others would be released? >> i do not know. >> what do you expect to section
501 -- do you think that this -- that that is part of the board of investigation and it could be narrowed somewhat? >> i am not sure. >> to 15? >> we think that should be narrowed a little bit? >> i think that there should be a discussion. that is the purpose of it. also the impact on privacy. >> do you think what we have done and what we have disclosed is so broad that it will undermine what we need to do by not narrowing this with respect to the boston marathon case two have you determined by this is
not connected and travel overseas coming back. have you found the smoking gun on that issue? can you talk about this and still getting to where you need to go? >> i would say it's appropriate its appropriate role that you have and the extent that you narrow what is available. i think that we have done a very thorough job. a job that came to our attention. i think it could have been a better exchange particularly by the russians early on. in other things in terms of alerting the travel. but even if we fix that and that is prior to the boston bombing, i don't think that would have stopped it.
you're going to minimize this. >> okay. >> i yield back. thank you. >> the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> the fortunate thing is so many americans will never understand this because they don't know the hunt you have had to keep from your efforts. you have heard a lot of members who have asked about this. i gave you a copy of that application before this hearing. for the record has the chairman's position and we need to make this a part of the record of the hearing. >> okay. >> mr. director, is it not true that the standard for arresting an individual for committing a
crime and the standard includes that of probable cause. >> yes. >> if that is the standard in this application that we have questioned several times a day, that it certified in this application that there is probable cause and had committed or is committing a decline. get your testimony, as i understand it, there is no potential prosecution. my question is if you have an individual that you know has reached the standard for charging this crime and one of the agent have attested, how can you say what standards and there
is no potential that that individual be prosecuted. >> and a number of occasions. we have probable cause to charge somebody with something and we do not. >> i understand that. >> when you charge someone, how do you say that there is no potential that you will prosecute this individual when you haven't even obtained the evidence to know the extent of that. >> we have search warrants and those cooperating. >> in this case, can you tell us this individual was cooperating or there are guidelines and the department. >> there are many occasions. >> in this occasion with mr. rosen. >> there are many occasions where you have a person that has committed a crime. >> absolute. can you tell us what guidelines
would allow the department and you testified today under oath or that there is no potential for prosecution for mr. rosen is your agent has said that you have not even gotten the results from the search warrant at. >> i am not certain i can understand. >> let me be very specific. you have stated there was no potential from mr. rosen. a search warrant was issued at the time this was issued. your agent attested to the fact that there was probable cause. get the same and if there is potential for prosecution at that time. >> i would have to go back and look at my answer. >> would you say there is at least a potential for prosecution?
>> i am not going to say that. those cases and decisions are being made. >> you cannot say that there is no potential for prosecution. >> i'm not saying that one where the other. >> okay. as the president has been in office, we have had a 40% increase in gang membership and the country. we know that many are committed by some states and can you tell us what has been the cause? >> you talk about the uptick in the gang activity and this has grown over a period of time. i don't think there's any person who can say that if anyone cause of the increase of gang activity. a number of factors come into play. but by the same token there has
been a substantial reduction in by crimes throughout the country chicago and some places are very familiar with us. consequently on one hand, you may have certain communities that have gang violence. but you also have a number of communities who have effectively get a chance to address that with new ways. >> thank you. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. mr. cohen is recognized to thank you, mr. chairman. >> i had the opportunity a couple weeks ago and the deputy director met with us. they said that they have sent a memo to you or the fbi. i presume you got it.
they were fearful they had this if they return. they wanted some information about it. they talked about the ability to do a complete study of like to ask you first if we could get that paper from counterintelligence. number two, why could we not fall upon us further than we did when the legislation needs to be passed. in keeping with the rights of american citizens. and the relations between the fbi to where we and how this works with radical islam and both of our countries. my response includes march of
2011 and an agent that was assigned with a thorough investigation. passing through all of the records checks, an individual who spend time and did a lot of research before he interviewed the parents. and finally including himself. after all of those efforts we did not find any indications that you are involved with the predication for further investigative efforts such as wiretapping or what have you. we have reported the extent of that investigation back and asked for additional material that would assist us in furthering this additional investigation. we have three requests and no response from them. we did, i think, what could have
been done at the time. i don't think he would've turned out as evidence for this ultimate medicalization. finally, as you know, they have been helpful to our investigation and we hope that we can continue to exchange further terrorist attacks against the united states, that we can stop them. >> okay. >> there are several reasons. >> one of the reasons? >> if they would've known that he was coming back, possibly this would not have occurred.
informally. >> satisfies, thank you, sir. let me ask you about this other killed in florida, apparently one who killed the three marijuana -- you know to get marijuana around here somewhere, the three marijuana guys up in massachusetts -- >> i'm not sure what you're talking about, but, please. >> there was another fellow a friend, investigated by the fbi agents and killed him. you remember that, don't you? >> i would say there was a response that -- to a threat that was -- >> what was the threat? later they said there was no weapon. >> that's still under investigation. >> okay. how did you get to his involvement of the crime? was it drone investigation or fsb? >> actually, there was a number of ways including one of the the
programs that's under scrutiny today. >> what do you mean? >> the time expired. the director can answer the question. >> 215, 702, is that okay? >> in terms of the program as well, but i will tell you that we came upon him in a variety of ways. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from iowa is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for your testimony and service, directer. just following up on the question, it was not clear to me, was the initial information on the general referred to, was that original information from the russians? >> you're saying -- >> i i think i heard you say there was a variety sources that brought you to him if >> talking about the individual?
>> yes. i don't want to imply fbi activity. >> it came from several leads that we were following here domestically. >> was there initial lead from the russians? >> i don't recall them. there may have been, but i can't recall that there was. >> are you aware of a letter from the fsb dated march 4th, 2011? >> yes. >> and was that letter initiated by the russians esb? >> yes. >> and that letter is file for a while, and how long? >> very quickly afterwards. >> do you have the information on tamerlan tsarnaev prior to that? >> do we have information prior to that date? >> yes. >> i don't believe so. >> pardon? >> let me say, his name didn't come up, and in two other cases, those two other cases.
the individuals had their cases closed, so it was a one or two person away. >> it's reasonable that the letter refocuses the fbi on tamerlan? >> absolutely. >> there's another letter dated in 2013? >> yes. >> are they classified? >> i'm not certain -- what their classification is. >> i would ask you to take a look at both of those letters and consider if they are classified to release them. the subject matter of that information within it, i think that we would agree is something that would be useful for the american people to be aware of, and for me, i was struck by the amount of domestic information that the russians had on activity inside the united states on tamerlan tsarnaev, and that seems to be the first information that flowed forth. is it also to the public is the reference, is it part of the reconstruct going back dwardz through the time line, place or
places where there might have been an intervention that could have prevented the boston bombing with what we knew at the time? >> every time there's an incident, we scrub it hard. there's an area, notification of the subject traveling should have been documented, whatever action is taken a notification from border and customs should have been documented, but in looking back at it, i believe that his radicalization was -- was -- went forward substantially, and during the time he went -- it was in russia, but i do not believe he was on the radar screen of the russian authorities when she was back there. >> that's my understanding. as far assed ray callization that took place -- as far as the radicalization that took place, is that a product of his home country, to the united states, and back to the home country, or how do you view the radicalization? >> maybe in fission starts.
>> i think that's fair. the security, though, when we have people coming in from, let's say the north part of the region who are persons that come from, let's say a profile that would fit persons of interest from nations of interest, do we do inqir ris with the russians or any other country to do background checks on individuals that might be seeking asylum here in the united states that come from those areas? >> i really have to turn to dh in terms what they consider in terms of evaluating asylum. i hesitate -- well, dhs -- >> don't they sub contract that out to you? doesn't ucis ask fbi to do the background checks? >> they don't check with us, but run checks through us to see what we nabbed on those seeking asylum. >> do the russians have advice who they watch who come into the united states under asylum, which is how they got here?
>> we herbally, well, i don't know -- i can't speak what they do in all its cases, but if they have a person they believe to be a terrorist, i would say often they give us that information, ask for assistance from us to address that particular -- >> let me suggest a direct question that the second in command at fsb said that those kinds of inqir ris, he couldn't say it happened, but as he looked at the other people on the panel, one inquiry ten years ago. >> thank you for the service, and i yield back the balance of the time. >> the time expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director, thank you for your many years of exemplary service to the nation.
this will be probably our last time to see you before this particular committee, and i wanted to do that -- give you that. i also agree with you that as terrorism, both foreign and domestic changes in depths, our law enforcement capabilities have to do the same, and so if data collection would help us remain secure in our personal libertyies, that's a discussion that we should have. if we don't have security, our civil liberties are threatened, and i know that everyone can agree with that and this season an issue unlike those some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are looking for out in the backyard benghazi, unrest,
subpoena. we can deal with those things, but there's issues right at the front door knocking loudly, and i think that loudest is data collection in secrecy in government. my questions would be regarding that. why is it necessary for data collection internal domestic data collection to be a secret? j -- why is it that that program has to be a secret? i disagree with the notion that public knowledge of those programs can undermine our ability to respond to terroristic or terrorist threats, and i also want to applaud the work of companies like google that work very hard
to make government legal requests as transparent as possible. they requested permission from you and the attorney general to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests including fisa disclosures as part of its transparency report. wont the security question, kind of like meta data, wouldn't that better serve the conversation with civil liberties and national security than keeping americans in the dark because as they are in the dark, is breaks down the trust americans have for government. i'm really concernedded we have too much information, and i'm perplexed about who actually
decides what should be classified and how do we go about unclassifying things? i know that's a couple questions. i'll give you a chance to respond. >> i do think that there's quite obviously secrecy between the classification attendense, classification and arguments, and i'm not going to sigh that's things over classified. when it comes to identifying, the way we handle communications, all the it rations, particularly in this day in age with any number of ways to communicate, whether it be e-mail, chat, a variety of ways to communicate to the extent they are associated with terrorism groups or the others to the extent they have information as to how we operate in terms of identifying -- >> well, how we may use those
programs, but the programs themselves, why is it that just a broad of disclosures that, yes, americans, we are collecting meta data from your phone records, and this is why we are doing that. you explain the intracas iring's es of what you are doing or not doing, there's not programs or operations -- excuse me, no specific operations or operatives, those kinds of things, but just the exist epps of the -- existence of the programs. americans need to know what's being done and why. why? >> all i can say is there's a balance. >> i don't -- >> i don't encourage you to end the classified briefings to ask the question, and -- >> i never got a satisfactory answer. >> i can tell you because when there's disclosures like this we see through other programs that we have and intercept
communications, we see exactly what those individuals are doing, the terrorists, to change their -- >> well -- >> the time expired. >> always adaptations to what we're doing. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, directer. i'm not going to comment about your being last time here. i did that two years ago, and it didn't turn out right. anyway, i want to follow up on what my friend, mr. johnson, talked about, the over classification issue because it does seem to be a problem, and certainly an issue. there's an article today titled "obama's snooping excludes mosques boston bombers," and i was not aware when i went to the fbi website, i was not aware of the sensitive operations with
the committee, so i wanted to find out what it was. apparently, if something involves things like news media, religious, or domestic and political organizations, things like that, it has to go before the review committee in order to be approved, and here's the information on the -- if it's a political organization like a tea party, a religious organization like evangelical christians, which the homeland security is so afraid of, or a mosque, apparently, he has to get approval here, and we knew and had gone through -- it seemed ridiculous to me the material we reviewed that was purged by subject matter experts was classified. it seems if you try to make the
islamists feel better about training materials, you want them to see what they remove, and i'm just curious, why are the subject matter experts that the fbi went through the training material and purge anything that might be offensive to an islamist, why was that needed to be classified? they'd be heros in the islamic world for getting that out. why was that classified? >> well, we went through a thorough review, and i think they were fully briefed on it. in those materials, there were cases -- >> i have short time. i need you to answer questions, and my question is, why were the the subject matter experts' identity classified? >> because the process in whole had a -- had. its parameters all information that we have in the bureau, and
if i'm not mistaken, we gave you the means. >> in a classified setting, and so i don't know why you can't make those public so that people would know, but, obviously, you feel -- >> i will look at that. >> well, and also i want to go back to boston. you said things like -- did fbi did an excellent job, did a thorough job, don't know what else we could have done, and according to the russians, there's a great deal more than that could have been done, and when we find out about this operation of the committee, and as the article proves, it says that we don't know who the chairman and members are of the sensitive operation review committee and who the staff, that's kept secret. the fbi never canvassedded boston mosques until four days after the april 15th attacks. if the russians tell you that
someone has been radicalized, and you don't check and see the mosques that they went to, then you get the articles as i have for the group that created the boston mosque where they attended, and you find out the name which you'll remember because the fbi director, this man so helpful to the clinton administration with so many big things, he gets air forced in dulles airport by the airport doing 20 years for supporting terrorism. he's the guy who started the mosque where they attended, and you didn't bother to check the mosque, and then when you have the pictures, why did no one go to the mosque and say who are these guys? they attend -- they attend here. why was that not done if such a thorough job was done? >> your facts have not all
together -- >> i point out specifically -- >> sir, if you call me a liar, appointment out specifically where facts are wrong. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from puerto rico. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i want to join my colleagues in your service to our nation. you leave a lasting legacy and large shoes to fill. i see you have recognized the fbi's roles since 9/11 evolved.
prior to the attack the primary responsibility was crime, and now the bureau also stands at the forefront of the government's efforts to prevent a response to terrorism, and as a tragic events in boston illustrate, the stakes could not be higher. conducting both law enforcement and counterterrorism, and i know you're constantly reviewing the allocation of personnel and resources to ensure both missions receive the attention they deserve but in puerto rico, going home to 3.7 million american citizens underscores why it is important for the fbi notwithstanding its transformation in the wake of 9/11 to continue to place great emphasis on its traditional role as a crime fighting agency.
as chairman michael mccaul noted in a hearing last year in the committee, the people of puerto rico are under siege. like all american people, my constituents are targets for al-qaeda and its affiliated organizations. they, too, worry about terrorism when they board a plane, visit a tourist site with their children, or travel abroad. indeed, in 1972, 16 american citizens from puerto rico were killed and many more wounded in israel. the victims of one of the first incidents of international terrorism, but the fact is my constituents are dying violent deaths every day, and you're not being killed in terrorist attacks. rather they are dying in human numbers because of the toxic mix of drugs, guns, local gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. i know you're with the statistics, but they bear
repetition. in the ten year period between 2003 and 2012, there were 8600 homicide victims in puerto rico. the year 2011 was the most violent in the territory's history with 10 # 64 murders, the e qif lant of three homicides a day every day. it is about the same number of homicide deaths as texas which has a population that is seven times that of puerto rico. although the number of murders in port rei key decreased in 2012, the capital murder rate was three times higher than any state in about six times higher than the u.s. national average. as you know, i have urged the federal government to surge resources to puerto rico to alleviate the crisis. earlier this year, following the secretary napalitano, they are
increasing the presence on the island. next week, i'm meeting with a senior adviser to the secretary to receive an update of the dhs component agencies are taking and the resources we can expect to see. yesterday, the appropriations committee approved the defensive appropriations act for fiscal year 2014, and that bill directs the secretary of defense to provide a report on the counter drug activityings that dod is undertaking or intends to undertake to support law enforcement operations in and around puerto rico. in march, i wrote a detailed letter to attorney holder copying you, reiterating my request they surge resources for puerto rico. it is clear that the fbi as well as the dea and atf needs to do more, much more to rescue the level violence in puerto rico to reassure the constituents the national government cares about them working every day to protect them and their families.
director mueller can you tell me what do quick steps the fbi taking or will take to rescue exceptionally high level of violence in puerto rico? the threat evolved in nature and its severity, and it is critical that the fbi's response involve as well, the time for business as usual is over, director. >> well, as we have discussed previously, congressman, i have tremendous sympathetic to what is happening in puerto rico as we go along. we have made advances, hybrid squads covering crime, four gang crime stage forces, more than any in the country, we have an allocation of 313 full-time agents fully staffed, about five down, but i can tell you under the term of sequestering the possibility of allocating additional resources to puerto
rico is very, very difficult. homicide prosecutor, i have some understanding of the devastation to communities that are upset by violence crime. i wire we could do more. i wish we had the resources to surge. i know we're working closely with atf, dea, and ourselves to combine our resources along with puerto rico national police and having some success. all i can tell you is that i wish i could do more at this point, but given budget constraints, it's very difficult. >> time of the gentleman expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director, this past sunday, mr. cummings based on everything seen in the case, it's solved. is he accurate in the assessment. >> repeat that. >> based on what i saw, the case
is solved regarding the irs scandal. >> which scandal? >> the irs case. >> the irs case? >> yeah. >> it's just started. >> what can you tell us? you started a month ago, what can you tell us about this? have you found any -- have you found the incidents, discovered who the people are? >> needless to say because it it's under investigation, i can't say -- >> can you tell me how many investigators are assigned to the case? >> may be able to do that, but i have to get back to you. >> can you tell me who the lead investigator is? >> not off the top of the head, no. >> it's the most important case, and you don't know who it is? >> i do not. >> get that information to us. we want to know how many people you assigned into look into the information. >> i had a briefing on it when we initiated, but i have not had a recent breeching where we are. >> you don't know who is leading the case? >> i do not. >> do you know if you talked to
any of the victims? have vow talked to the groups targeted by their government? have you met with the tea party folks since may 14? >> i don't know the status of the interviews. >> do you expect that's been done? >> certainly, at some point in time in the course of the investigation, it's dope, but the onset, you get the documents -- >> don't you normally talk to the victims -- >> i do not know -- >> ysh extensive work, don't you talk to the victim? a criminal investigation, don't you talk to victims? >> it will happen. >> did the fbi contact any of these same victims, were they contacted by the fbi prior to the investigation when these same groups were applying for tax exempt status, did the fbi pay the individuals a visit? >> i do not know. >> par top? >> i do not know. >> you don't know? >> i don't know. >> some testified they were paid a visit by the fbi, specifically katherine in texas said she was
visited by the fbi, head of true the vote. is that true or not. >> i don't know. >> you do not know, okay. if the -- excuse me, if the fbi contacted people involved in the irs scandal, victims, groups prior to the investigation when they were applying for tax exempt status, why was that the case? why would you be looking into it, and was there possibly coordination with the irs in why you targeted them in >> you're asking me details about the invest -- >> it's not. why were people targeted before the investigation started? why were they contacted by the fbi, people are are now part of the tea party groups targeted by the irs? >> you're asking questions about details of the investigation. i'd be happy -- >> it's not a detail about the investigation. it took place prior to the investigation. >> can i please finish? you are asking detailed investigation, and i'll get back to you understanding -- >> it's basic questions about the investigation like who is
heading it up a enyou can't tell me that. can you get back to me on any group targeted by the irs who the fbi visited with prior to the investigation startedded? while they were applying -- that's important information for the committee to have. can you get that to me? >> we'll try to respond. >> have you reviewed the report regarding the irs scandal? >> i have been through it, yes. >> do you have any concerns about the way the inspector general did the report and collected informs? >> i did not focus on that at all. i was looking -- >> a couple things. is it appropriate for the investigator to have the -- one of the central players in this, mt. holly, who was director of one of the key players at the tax exempt vision, sit in on almost all interviews with employees in that division. is that typically how it's done? >> i'm not familiar with the circumstancesment i understand what you are saying about the circumstances, but not familiar with it -- >> your time as investigators is
that how you did interviews with the boss next to the person you want information from? >> well, again -- >> is it appropriate for the inspector general came out in the interview that our staff has done the oversight committee staff has done, appropriate to have her collect the data to give it to? inspector general? >> i'm not familiar with -- >> if that happened, is it appropriate? >> i'm not going to speculate. >> let me ask another thing because this did happen, mr. chairman, last question. so is it appropriate when the inspector general is doing his investigation, doing his audit, to give information to the very people he's invest gaiting in the course of the investigation and not share that same information with the oversight committee? specifically, may 30th of last year, the inspector general told doug schulman that the terms tea